Respect and Co-Dependency

When I talk about living mindfully and respectfully of others, don't misunderstand.

Treating others with respect never means we have to become a doormat. We never have to demean ourselves in the recovery process.

Just the opposite, recovery is about redeeming our self-esteem enough to respect others and ourselves. Recovery is about our freedom to stand up for ourselves when others treat us disrespectfully.

When you think about it, co-dependency is the ultimate demeaning behavior. Co-dependency saps us of our self-esteem and self-respect. And we do it to ourselves when we let others treat us as less than. Recovery gives us back our power and our right to esteem and respect ourselves. To expect esteem and respect from others. And recovery gives us the power to choose to respect others and esteem them—not so they will love us (or even like us) in return—but because respect is the key to effective human interaction.

Recovery is not difficult, mysterious, or dark in what it seeks to accomplish in us and through us.

If others don't have to put up with our controlling, manipulative behavior that we practice when acting out our co-dependency, then neither do we have to put up with the same stuff when others dish out similar behavior to us.

In everything I have said about co-dependency over the past four years, my message is simply this: We are individuals; we are worthy of respect. In our relationships, who we are looking for are other people who will offer us co-equal respect—not as a favor or to get something from us in return, but simply because they acknowledge us and recognize us as fellow human beings. We are all on the same road, but of each us carries our own load. And when each of us is mindful enough to offer supportive and encouraging treatment to others on the journey, we become restful, sunlit vistas along their path.

Dear God, thank You for teaching me to treat others the way I wish to be treated. Amen.

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 14). Respect and Co-Dependency, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: June 7, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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